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Hundreds of fish die in Lily Pond

Published: Mon, July 22, 2013 @ 7:24 p.m.

Dissolved oxygen is believed to be the cause of the fish deaths

Dead fish float on Lily Pond


Dead fish littered the shoreline and floated on the surface of Mill Creek MetroParks Lily Pond, caused by a lack of oxygen.

Park maintenance workers used nets Monday morning to scoop the dead carp, koi, catfish, bass and bluegill out of the pond, carrying them away in buckets.

Linda Kostka, park development and marketing director, said the Mahoning County Soil and Water Conservation District has taken samples of the pond water and park officials have consulted the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“The sample taken by [Youngstown State University] shows what we suspected: lack of oxygen from the storm Saturday, the high heat and the lack of rain,” she said.

Steve Avery, park planning director and landscape architect, said dissolved oxygen is caused by a combination of high temperatures and a shallow pond. Avery said the pond is about five feet deep.

The fish suffocate from the lack of oxygen.

The pond is closed until further notice.

According to the website of the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, dissolved oxygen is the most common cause of fish kills in ponds and most occur in the summer. The oxygen demand in a pond is higher in the warmer months and colder water holds more oxygen than warmer water, the site says.

ODNR Division of Wildlife’s website says that summer fish kills are “most common in shallow ponds that are heavily vegetated and have high accumulations of decomposing organic matter.”

The problem didn’t kill all of the fish, however.

“You can still some fish swimming around in there,” Avery said.


1Metz10987(145 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I doubt that is the cause. That response is BS from the park,. We have rainstorms and heat far worse then this summer and there was never a fish kill. I have gone to the pond in the summer for 20 years and never seen more the a dead fish or two in th summer. So why would there be so many dead fish this summer. The only difference is they recently did a project that removed almost all the vegetation form around the pond which made no snese and left bare ground. Also the rain this weekend was not even heavy. This should have happened back when we had all the flooding issues in the area but it did not. I think it is either due to a change in Ph, a spill they do not know about or most likely to upset people fracking. They think people are so stupid. All I saw was dead bluegills, a few bass and catfish and no carp alive or dead. I also saw only a couple of turtles and unlike this Avery guy not one live fish anywhere so think he is a idiot. The silly sotoy the park is giving about this being normal or low oxygen stinks as much as dead fish on a hot summer day. Same on lying to people about not having a clue about the real cause.

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2Attis(1025 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Amen Metz. This is nothing but a cover story. The real story of this massive fish kill in one of the Park's most attractive sites is to be found in the stupid policies of the Board which should be replaced entirely for incompetence as well as collusion with the mother earth frackers.

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3Metz10987(145 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah I also think it is odd this was just reported by many visitors just early yesterday afternoon and by this morning they had a answer. there is no way all the tests can back already and I doubt they did much more then one for dissolved oxygen. They are flat out lying and they know this answer makes no sense given that many report a odd blue color to the water and what looks like a oil spill which the park and the experts they called in somehow could not see. the water always looks bad and stinks but yesterday was worse then normal so something happened that they either do not know about are they are hiding it

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4tgvit(3 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I happened to go to the Lilly pond around noon on Sunday. Upon walking up to the pond I noticed a fish struggling in shallow water near shore. I thought I would go over to give him a push back into deeper water. It's then I realized he was surrounded by dozens of dead fish of all types. I knew they couldn't of been dead long because there was no odor. I will say that in my walk around the pond I saw two large koi. One white and one orange still swimming around. Also observed two large turtles one in the water and one outside the water. I've been to this pond many times through the past 20 years or so and I must say the blueish green water definitely seemed unusual.

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5Metz10987(145 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah something fishy went on and whatever happened it was sudden and quick because when I was there at 3 I saw no Koi at all and like you only a turtle or two. Also the geese did not seem to want to be in the water for very long as well. For those fish to die in mass and at once tells me it was not just a lack of oxygen or they would die over a period of time since seem species can surive in low oxygen like catfish and if they die the water is real bad. Carp can live in just about anything as well and if they died this is very bad. They thrive in muddy calm water so they would not die. I did not see any alive or dead but anytime I go I always see a few and yesterday not one. I saw nothing alive in the water in fact so the park is lying if they say they did and even if they did there should be more then a few fish swimming around.

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6Silence_Dogood(1527 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Factor #1
Every spring for the last decade or so the park has added chemicals to keep the algae population and the cyanobacteria population in check. The only drawback is that the algae and cyanobacteria produces oxygen that the fish NEED to survive. This is that funny color that the above poster has commented on.
Factor #2
The park just finished redoing the shoreline along the northern and western edge of the pond. Unfortunately the shoreline rehabilitation that was long overdue had the unintended effect of killing of the macrophyte plant life that was so common along these shorelines.The macrophytes produce oxygen, so once again the actions that the park took contributed to the lower levels of oxygen in the pond.
Factor #3
Sustained high temperatures. Man can not control the weather any more so then he can control the rotation of the earth. Mother nature sometimes can be a B!&#%.

Factor 3 alone could have been the only cause for this fish die off but a reasonable mind would have to come to the conclusion that factor 1 and 2 were contributing factors.

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7tgvit(3 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

There were people there with bread around noon. At no time did any fish make an effort to go for it. Even the few I did see. The geese were in the water around noon and to me seemed to act no different from any other time I was there.

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8tgvit(3 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I did see dead carp. Very large ones .

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9republicanRick(1505 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Some fish die and suddenly all the nutty people come out of the woodwork.

You people should have paid more attention during science class and learned something. Everything in this world is not a conspiracy. Sometimes fish die. Quit being so nutty.

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10JoeFromHubbard(1482 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Patience, people, patience.

Nature has a marvelous way of recovering and reclaiming, you just have to give her time.

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11Metz10987(145 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I still think something else occurred as well. They really do not know and just said what was easiest to blame it on. Would love to see results for tests to see what chemicals are in the water which is what I think caused this but I doubt we will ever really know.

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